In Edmonton on April 24th, the nominees for the West Coast Music Awards were announced to include the talented Ryan McNally for his album Steppin’ Down South.
The Rockburn, QC native was nominated for Best Blues Album of 2017. He shares the exciting nomination with band members Patrick Hamilton, Christian Leclerc, Kieran Poile and Justin Rubenstien (aka Petrojvic Blasting) and Bob Hamilton who engineered, mixed and mastered the EP.
Steppin’ Down South is Ryan McNally’s second full-length EP and his first collaborative album. He has worked for many years as a solo musician and wrote much of the music for Steppin’ Down South in New Orleans. While down south, many musicians and the intricacies that make up the regional styles of jazz and blues inspired him. He then started trying out the material on stages in the Yukon where he lives.
“Being in Whitehorse is currently a huge influence because music is my full-time job and I’m able to perform a lot without travelling,” he says. “I’m able to try out a lot of new material in front of a live audience. If the music doesn’t feel good to an audience, I can always tell because it’s more of struggle to perform.”
Ryan McNally grew up in Rockburn, QC. He first discovered jazz and blues through his grandfather’s old Louis Armstrong and Sister Rosetta records that Ryan found stored in the barn. As an early teen, he studied with David Whyte of Ormstown and has continued studying with many other teachers wherever he can. He now works full-time as a performing musician in Whitehorse and teaches music as well.
In April, Ryan entertained local Haut-Saint-Laurent fans at The Rockburn Pub. He was happy to have the opportunity to play with one of his oldest friends who he started performing with as a teenager, Jordan James Peddie (on upright bass), and with his partner Brigitte Desjardins on washboard and drums. Valley residents can look out for another hometown performance on July 27th at Grove Hall, as well as see him at the Canada Scene Festival in Ottawa.
The winners of the West Coast Music Awards will be announced in Edmonton in September, 2017. To discover more about Ryan McNally and his music see: www.ryanmcnally.ca